Enjoy this summer

To the Editor: 

Now that we are into the far side of summer I realize that getting outside and enjoying this season has many benefits. We enjoyed the Friday night concerts in the park and the craft sale. The Pine Center for the Arts is always interesting with the rotation of talented artists. Freedom Fest had such a wide range  of events, all of which were worth seeing.

The summertime festivals just kept coming with the Three Twenty Brewing Co. birthday bringing Patty and her dad Florian for us polka fans. In the evening a different style favored us with their music.

Now the Pine County Fair has six days. How can we ever be bored? The Snake River Fur Post is open on Friday and Saturday.  If it has been a while since you wanted to get out of the 21st century, it always works for me.

Then there was Mamma Mia. Everyone says how great it was.

Last week I went fishing with “Lets go Fishing.” Caught one too.

Summer here is never boring. Just enjoy.

Dale Kuzel

Pine City

Unvaccinated delay recovery

To the Editor: 

The pandemic and its devastating social, health and economic effects continue to delay a return to normal. For reasons of political fealty, some refuse to get vaccinated allowing the virus to mutate and evolve. To those refusing, I ask some questions: 

You are refusing a miracle vaccine, available free of charge, locally delivered and proven to be highly effective with few side effects. Isn’t being vaccinated the common sense and smart thing for you to do?

There are, in a civil society, expectations that we will respect each other and accept the boundaries for right and wrong. This social code separates us from the rule of the mob. We cover our sneezes and coughs and perform other acts because they are the decent thing to do. Isn’t getting a vaccination in the face of a killing pandemic a considerate, decent and socially responsible thing to do?

Patriotism’s core and fundamental principle is individual sacrifice for the common good. It requires action beyond the symbolic and performative displays of patriotism  i.e. flying the flag, standing for the anthem, pledging our allegiance, etc. Patriotism commands acts/deeds of sacrifice that places country ahead of personal or political gains. Isn’t your act of personal selfishness and blind adherence to political demagoguery harming the country? Isn’t getting vaccinated a patriotic and American thing to do? 

If religions share a common foundational requirement it is to love thy God and your neighbor. They command, in various forms, adherence to the Golden Rule. By choosing to submit others to a life threatening virus aren’t you rejecting basic moral teaching? 

Living in America doesn’t guarantee complete liberty from governmental mandates. When you drive to a restaurant you comply with dozens of government restrictions (speed limit, seat belts, right side of road, etc.) and you enter the restaurant’s door displaying signs prohibiting guns and requiring shirt and shoes. You meet people exiting to smoke outside for the safety of others and you accept these lost liberties. Democracies deny absolute liberty, just as they promise regulated freedoms. Should your freedom to be a walking biohazard trump another person’s right to health safety?

Why are you making a political decision on a question of medical health? The short answer is because you are believing lies. You live in a world where political propaganda, faux news and lies are broadcast as truth; facts and evidence are rejected and/or denied and science/scientists are questioned, ignored and devalued. Do you really believe democracy and freedom survive in such a world?

Gary Germann


Police bravely defended Capitol

To the Editor: 

I was able to listen to the first U.S. House Select Committee Hearing on the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capitol. Four police officers testified: DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges and Michael Fanone and Capitol Police Officers Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gorell. Their testimony was heart wrenching and their bravery working to protect congressional members and the Capitol as they were greatly outnumbered by insurrectionists is heroic.

Officer Fanone, who was beaten and tazed to the point of suffering a heart attack, concussion and traumatic brain injury said at the hearing: “What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened. I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room.” He continued, “The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.” 

I agree. I’m at especially disappointed in the indifference of our 8th District Congressman Pete Stauber, who was a career police officer. He could have shown national leadership by serving on the Select Committee and demanding they get to the truth about what and how the attack happened on January 6th. It’s the least we must do to honor the brave officers, and to honor the very grounds and fabric of democracy that they defended.

Rick Olseen


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